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tv   [untitled]    July 25, 2010 4:01am-4:31am PST

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you don't turn in your neighbors. that is why i did not do anything when i first saw the construction. i figured that was the city's responsibility, not mine. as it became clear there were problems with the legal structures, i thought now is the time when they're going to revise their house, i will bring it to their attention. i did not get any response that they wanted to make any adjustments in their plan. they did not want to legalize anything, they did not want to admit all the work they had done, and as you can see, there are plumbing issues they have not dealt with or electrical issues. all of this has been done without any inspection whatsoever. when will this be legalized? i don't understand how mr. kornfield is able to say it is ok to put excavation of all of that crawlspace without having any plans for a retaining wall. and this is right on the property line. this is a very difficult
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situation, and if we don't have the support of our city that is going to employ the coats, what does that mean to us neighbors? there are no plans. there are no preconditions on the north, east, and south sides. the only. is there is on the chimney, the base. i am sorry, but we need help to get to the truth of this matter. president peterson: thank you. it commissioner hwang: ms. wuerfel, i have a question about your attempt to communicate with the permit holder spree -- permit holders. in your brief, you have stated that you along with neighbors attended two meetings in 2007 with brand new plants and then the owners applied for a site permit in september, which is currently in the process of being withdrawn. in november, 2008, they moved out. have you had any communication with the property owners?
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>> no, since they put in their site plans in 2007, all of that was a shock to us. there has not been any communication. even when they moved out. commissioner hwang: what at times have you made, if at all? >> we are available any time. i don't knock on their door and say what are you doing with your plans? i expect them to send notice to the neighbors, and we have attended each and every invitation. but i don't that is appropriate for me to knock on the door and ask when they're getting around to their plans. commissioner hwang: okay, thank you. president peterson: you have three minutes. >> again, i will get back to the whole, did we want to build an addition in 2006? yes, we did. did we meet with the neighbors? yes, we did. it was clear back then that ms. wuerfel, sometime in 2008 with
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the bald and everything else, -- with the mold and everything else, we had the plans to build the horizontal addition. talking with staff, we basically came to the conclusion that we want financial get back into the house. this house costs over $10,000 per month in mortgage. we are fighting for our lives to stay in san francisco, and we're dealing with this tedious, tedious -- i don't want to use the word, it is life safety. the foundation is moving downhill. there is no doubt about that. the building department and all of the experts have seen that. with regard to the uphill neighbor, yes, the wall was cracked because we are going downhill and they're going down with the wall. second, in general engineering, the permits were provided to the
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city. the lady on the uphill side has already been excavated and the foundation and retaining wall is substantially deeper than the excavation we're going, which requires only the shoring on our house. originally we applied to have the entire foundation of removed and replaced so we could do to correct waterproofing job. ms. wuerfel appealed that. we came back and said we will cap the foundation. we already have the engineering drawings. it is his word against the neighbors. i am inclined to take his word. i am inclined to say with regard to remediation, i have spoken with supervisor chu probably 40 times in the last two years to bring ms. wuerfel and to mediation. did we make an effort to resolve this with the neighbors? yes, we did. >> there are many broken windows
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and the house. i wish it was only windows. the house is not habitable. i will take you down tomorrow. 90% of the windows need replacing. we don't want to eat lose the stained-glass windows. they're fabulous, -- we don't want to lose the stained-glass windows, they're fabulous, why would we? but we need to remove the mold. we have three children and one bedroom. it is no longer ok to have our children in the same bedroom. many issues need to be addressed in the house. thank you. president peterson: thank you. mr. sanchez, mr. kornfield, and a rebuttal? ok, commissioners, the matter is before you. commissioner hwang: can i ask mr. kornfield about. foundation? -- about the brick foundation?
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ms. wuerfel made the point that either incorrect or not accounting for -- i see existing brick foundation on the foundation plan, and i believe the appellant is claiming that is not accurate? have we verified? >> at the time construction takes place, the building contractor will do it the form work and frameup the new foundation walls with steel, ready to pour, and the building inspector will go and look to
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see if it looks like what the plans show. the exact location of where the existing park foundation -- of the brick foundation is probably not the most critical thing as long as it ends up being a reinforced foundation that is similar or very close to what we see in the plants. it seems like a pretty beefy piece of foundation reinforcement. it is not actually what we call capping, which is fish usually an added piece on the top used to raise the foundation to get above grade. this is seriously reinforcing the foundation, using the form for the back of the new foundation walls. so yeah, the field inspector will look and see if it conforms. commissioner garcia: maybe this was not president peterson's question, but it seems a big point was made about the fact is not actually brick, it is
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concrete or something else. what difference does that make, is that important? >> well, let me see. what difference would it make? commissioner fung: none. >> probably not. if there was an existing concrete foundation, they may choose to reinforce it, they may choose to allow it to remain. it looks like they're going to reinforce the entire thing, looking at the foundation plan. it looks like they are intending to supplement it. i think because of the unusual soil condition. commissioner fung: i had a question for mr. sanchez. mr. sanchez, you indicated that
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the dormers would not have required any notice or specialized review. what about the replacement of the entire roof? >> replacement of the entire roof, repair or replacement? commissioner fung: replacement. would that have required a form of notice? i said the roof, not roofing. >> if it is within the same location as the existing roof, then no, not if it is an expansion. it would not have triggered any thing. vice president goh: i have a follow-up question to that. are you finished commissioner fung? president peterson: we heard the
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2x4 rafters were to be replaced by 2x10 rafters, and it appeared from the drawing that would necessitate moving those rafter tails or removing those rafter tails. resource issue. >> a great point. i would like to note the existing and the proposed plans, the rafter tales are shown on their. the same detail is on both the existing and proposed additions. commissioner hwang: how do you address that issue? -- commissioner gavice presidenw the address that issue? >> did not show a change in roof pitch or height. that would be addressed during the construction process.
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mr. kornfield make have further -- might have further -- >> lawrence kornfield with the building department. i am trying to put it together. it is not entirely clear immediately to me. i can sit and look at it for another minute. with the project sponsor assist?
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>> structurally, we are only interested in the seating of the 2by 10. many times, you will see a 1 by 12 has been used to bring something into code as far as insulation. the roof can terminate at the wall down to a s by 4, 2 by 6, 2 by 8, and it is not our intention to change this out of the house. the stained-glass windows will remain. that is our home. that is our house. we have no intention of changing any of the detail on there. it is very simple. the piece that sits on the wall plate is all you are structurally concerned about. anything after that can be ripped down to a 2 by 4.
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commissioner garcia: -- vice president goh: that makes sense. i am not seeing it on the drawings. it could be that i am looking at the roof of the dormer. can you tell me which page you are looking at? >> i am looking at three and a detail on two. if you look at it again, structurally the rafter will terminate on the wall plate. any form of ornate detail can be added after the fact. it will be purely non structural and purely to keep it craftsman style. commissioner garcia: -- vice president goh: does that show the rafter terminating at the exterior wall? >> no. you are actually seeing the growth below the dormer. vice president goh: it is the roof below the dormer that has the rafter tales. >> correct.
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the rafter tale is not shown on that detail. it will be purely cosmetic. it is not included on the detail. one of the things is that the existing laughter tails -- rafter tales, i would say 60% are completely rotted out. even if we just went with a roofing permit, there would have to be addressed with the shooting of the roof and the dry rot -- the sheeting of the roof and the dry rot. commissioner fung: i will start.
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i understand the need for the permit holder to get their housing in place for their family, but i am baffled how, when i look it does permit set, it is contrary to a lot of my experience with both the planning and building department in terms of scope and scale. it is also -- i am not 100% sure what the impact of what is being proposed. if you look at the intent, and it is hard to tell what has been done with permit or without a permit, the intent of the permit
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holder is legitimate. it is utilizing certain construction techniques to capture the attic space as a livable space, which is why the dormers are being placed in there to create the appropriate height for livable space. but it is hard to tell what happens to the ceiling, the original ceiling of the building that was below the attic space, and what framing would have been required to upgrade that to become the floor. it is clear that the existing roof in its entirety is gone. the framing plan shows entirely new framing around the entire roof outside of the dormers, although the note of adding
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plywood sheeting is scratched out. that is why i knew there was something up there on top of the new roof. so i am not sure that i would buy that this project is not -- it does not need to have some level of notice. i am going to also require that the department -- i need to see the permit history on this. i remain undecided. vice president goh: i agree with that. it was alleged the planning department did not see adjustments to the plans. i do not know what that means in terms of what they did review and what they did over the counter. i was struck by doing and on the fly over the counter
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historic evaluation on a building like this. that is definitely a contributor if not more. the historic features were being removed and it did not seen that was addressed in the plans to show those things were removed. the other comment i had was about what areas were legal, were to be legalized. i think that commissioner fung 's comment -- the existing roof to be gone -- is again shocking to me in an over-the-counter evaluation type situation.
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commissioner hwang: i think we are all better if this family can move back into the house sooner or later, but there are still question marks on the historic review or what is actually looks like from the outside. i think my concerns over the foundation were addressed. i think mr. kornfield for walking me through the plans. to give the neighbors some comfort we must know what is missing in these plans. i do not want to cause undue delay. i hear you that you are under financial distress. i am sure the appellate does not want you under more financial distress. but there does seem to be ambiguity as to what this looks like any impact on the roof. i do not know if a permit
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history solves this. i do not know if it will provide any clarity. -- president peterson: i am not sure if that is a solution entirely. commissioner fung: madam president, i traditionally do not reflect on aesthetics of many of the projects in front of us. the way these dormers fit within the existing building is esthetically not very desirable. it does not create the space they need for it to be habitable, but it is not a very sensitive solution architecturally.
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president peterson: just looking through the photos, it did appear that the addition next door would just create a larger house. it might have been more -- i do not know how to put it. i cannot necessarily tell -- i withdraw my comments. commissioner fung: you could not tell it was an addition? i could. president peterson: i could tell it was an addition, but i was thinking -- i wanted to use the word more sensitive, but that is a term of art i do not quite know how to use. as opposed to the kind of wing bombers reversing. -- wing dormers we were seeing.
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do you have a suggestion where we could go here? commissioner fung: i would like to see more from the departments on the permit history. >> you are suggesting a continuance? commissioner fung: i am. >> two other commissioners have comments? commissioner garcia: commissioner hwang, did you want to go? commissioner hwang: my main concern here is the financial strain and the fact that these nov's were due to complaints. this is a family that is trying to fix their house. at the complaints of the appellant, notwithstanding the
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fact that it is really hard to tell exactly what this is going to look like, i think there should have been a different level of review on notice. but i am not inclined to continue. in fact, i am inclined to let the permit proceed. the economic issues are really pressing here. this was done because there were required to do them. the department has weighed in on them. i feel comfortable with that. commissioner garcia: i at first had thought that some of this was over the counter because there were life safety issues. i cannot claim to know enough or to have enough experience to
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know whether or not it is the regular the way these permits were issued. maybe it is unusual. it might even be a regular. i have no feeling about that. i was a little confused about what are probably incidental issues to most of the members of this board, one of them having to do with the fact that the windows -- the house was not protected. granted, you might not want to put new windows in, but there are ways to protect the house from the elements that are inexpensive. maybe that was done. the usual motivation for that, the usual reason that kind of thing is brought up, is that someone is trying to have a demolition and they have let the has deteriorated so they can demonstrate that these issues will come up if they do not get a demo permit. it is well known.
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it has been recorded for years. i do not see that as the issue. it does not seem as though this is headed for "may i demo this building." i may prove to be wrong. i am very taken that he tried to not invest too heavily in the motions of the case -- the emotions of the case that someone gets into for various reasons. but that is almost impossible. i was very taken with mrs. galvin's testimony, picturing a family and the hardships they have had. i do not know what the will of this board is, but it seemed to me, and i am happy to be corrected, that one of the most pressing things that has to be done would have to do with capping that foundation. i do not know if that is accurate, but it seemed to me very few things could proceed without that. to have that done is not going
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to affect the way the building is going to look. to know the permit history probably will not affect whether or not we should try to prevent this house from continuing to spin. so if we do not reach some solution that allows this family to start work on this house and protect their very real financial interest, then i am probably not going to vote to overturn. we will see where that lands. or even vote for a continuance. president peterson: can separate out parts of the permit?
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is it all or nothing? >> you could uphold the permit on the condition that only a certain scope of work could be allowed. commissioner garcia: i don't even know that what i said is correct or accurate. did i say something that was inaccurate having to do with the fact that one of the primary things that would have to be done on this particular building would be to take care of the foundation? >> that seems to be the case, reviewing the case and the plans. it seems to be almost the driving force of this project. commissioner garcia: it would be for the other commissioners to weigh in on whether or not the problems with these particular permits would warrant them -- would cause them to not want that particular work to continue. >> may i make a comment about over-the-counter permit review? we have, in the last year or so, a year and a little bit more,
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made a conscious and deliberate determination that we will try to issue as many permits as we can over the counter, giving them proper review. we opened a new over-the-counter permit floor, staff at full time. almost any permit that does not require a 311 notice will be issued over the counter, even if it requires historic planning review. people have to carry them down to the first floor. we go way out of our way to do that. i do not think there is any special treatment given in a place like this, even though it is a large and more complicated project. it fits within the scope of what we are now trying to do to expedite the issuance of permits. commissioner hwang: how does one have a proper analysis of historic review over the counter? >> i do not do the historic review. i am in planning.
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commissioner fung: maybe my experience with the department is out of date. >> things have changed recently, sir. >> in terms of preservation, whether the existing building is a resource or potential resource or has been identified in a particular survey, which in this case it has been -- if the project proposed to increase the floor area, say by adding a new third floor, there would be an extensive preservation review in terms of environmental review and a request for historic resource evaluation. typically, what we recommend is the installation of dormers, which will be set back at least 15 feet from the front and the minimally visible from the public right of way. that is the standard solution to avoid extensive mixed level review